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Wallace earns Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls title

Jacob Smith of LaSalle, Colorado, makes a good run on the bull Dark Denim, but just misses the 8-second minimum in Friday’s Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls event. Jacob Smith of LaSalle, Colorado, makes a good run on the bull Dark Denim, but just misses the 8-second minimum in Friday’s Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls event. Tribune photos by Mark Davis

Ty Wallace won the Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls Friday night, building upon the best season that the 23-year-old bull rider has had to date.

The Collbran, Colorado, resident qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in 2014 and 2015. Then, after an injured groin last July, he missed the 2016 event by just five spots. Wallace started this year off on the right foot, however, winning the biggest Xtreme Bulls competition of the season at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo. In late June, he added another Xbulls title to his resume at the Greeley Stampede in his home state. He came to Cody ready to start a big Fourth of July run and was excited to get on Frontier Rodeo’s bull named Show Off.

“I didn’t know much about him,” Wallace said of the bull, but after watching video of another rider winning on Show Off, “I thought he’d fit my style pretty well.”

The bull did indeed fit Wallace’s style, posting an 89.5-point ride.

After his showing, Wallace had to wait through 15 more bull riders to see if his lead would hold. It did and he added $6,239 to his season earnings of $82,198. He currently sits in third place in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings.

“It’s been great,” Wallace said. “I’ve already won more money this year than I had when I entered the NFR either of the past two times.”

The Xtreme Bulls event in Cody featured one full round of bull riding and paid nearly $20,000 to the four competitors who had a successful ride. A total of 40 cowboys competed.

After missing last year’s NFR, Wallace’s drive and determination to compete at rodeo’s championships in Las Vegas next December was bigger than ever. He watched the first few performances of last year’s rodeo on television but found that to be mentally taxing. Instead of spending time in front of the TV, he went to the gym to continue his rehab routine. That routine also included plenty of time on horseback and doing lots of ranch work.

“Before this, I hardly ever went to the gym,” he said. “I always felt like riding horses and doing ranch work kept me in shape. I still believe that, but I know that getting in the gym made a big difference for me this year.”

Wallace hopes the momentum from his success in Cody will carry over to other rodeos as he and other contestants burn up the highway and the airways as they compete during the most lucrative part of the rodeo season.

Here are the following results from the Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls Competition, which kicked off the Cody Stampede:

  1. Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colorado, 89.5 points, $6,239 in earnings
  2. Eli Vastbinder, Athens, Texas, 87, $4,982
  3. Guthrie Murray, Miami, Oklahoma, 82, $3,905
  4. Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Idaho, 70, $2,828

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